LaShron “Shonnie” Cooley is a parent’s parent. She currently serves as the Community Liaison for Parents for Public Schools, Inc. (PPS) in Jackson, Mississippi. She facilitates early childhood development - parent engagement trainings, serves as PPS’ liaison for Working Together Jackson, and is a founding Steering Committee member of the OurJPS Coalition. Through her work at PPS, she also leads peer learning on evaluations of parent leadership programs to support authentic and effective quantitative and qualitative results in conjunction with NYU Metro Center and has led focus groups across the state of Mississippi to build a racial equity community of practice, in partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
During Shonnie’s pretend free time, she also serves as a Facilitator for Growing Up Knowing, a Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Growing Up Knowing engages young people and their parents or caregivers in real conversations about sexual health and smart decision making. Shonnie is a widow of a beloved husband Alando "Rick" Cooley and would have celebrated 26 years of marriage in 2023.
Prior to her formal role at PPS, Shonnie was a parent leader in her children’s schools. A principal encouraged her to participate in then, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson’s Parent Leadership Institute (PLI), where she learned about school data, parent engagement, along with other leadership building tools, and realized that as active as she was, she still wasn’t doing all that she could. Shonnie then became a part of various committees and site councils at her children’s schools to advocate for parents and children. During this time, Shonnie also served on the, then school district superintendent’s parent advisory group for student transition grades. Shonnie’s former PLI coach later encouraged Shonnie to apply for a role at PPS. She started as an admin and continuously moved on to lead more work for the organization.
Shonnie attributes her growth as an active parent to her mother, her rock. When Shonnie was young her mother was a single mom of three girls and despite working on an assembly line 40 miles away from their home, Shonnie’s mom always made a way to show up for her children’s activities. This involvement was instilled into Shonnie as she became a mother and raised three children of her own.
Shonnie graduated from Detroit College of Business (now Davenport University) with a B.A. in Accounting. She was proudly born in Detroit, MI and raised in Inkster, MI.